Thursday, October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween!! This week's story time was about all things Halloween - pumpkins, ghosts, witches and other spooky creatures that might say BOO! We read The Three Bear’s Halloween by Kathy Duval, a funny take-off of the Goldilocks story and also Halloween Mice by Bethany Roberts, which told about partying mice. Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin was about Farmer Brown, who did not like Halloween. And we revisited our old favorite, Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino. Interesting how many of these books had shadows, lights, and the word BOO! We also watched the spooky creatures dance on this video!

Craft time had the children decorating a white paper cup with crayons and Halloween foam pieces. Next they glued a ghost to a craft stick, then inserted the stick through a slit at the bottom of the cup. Push up on the stick, and the ghost pops up and know! BOO!
A Halloween fingerplay and a song finished out the hour.  Try these for yourself this spooky Halloween night!

The Ghost
I saw a ghost (fingers circle eyes)
He saw me too (point to yourself)
I waved at him (wave your hand)
But he said, “Boo!”

The witch has an Itch (tune: Farmer in the Dell)
The witch has an itch, The witch has an itch.
Oh where, oh where, oh where does the witch have an itch?
On her tiny little ____, her tiny little ____,
The witch has an itch on her tiny little _____.
(Children fill in body parts like toe, nose, etc.)

a cowboy and his horse
a dragon and his grandpa
Director Cathy dresses for the occasion!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

StoryCrafter's Halloween

I wore my black and orange to NHCS today, knowing that our StoryCrafter's session would be about Halloween! We read John Pig's Halloween by Jan L. Waldron, illustrated by her husband, David McPhail. (They live in New Hampshire!) It's the story of a pig who decides to stay in on Halloween night and ends up with unexpected company! Here's a video of the story if you'd like to see and hear it yourself!
Using orange paper plates as the base, we made a jack-o-lantern man! His eyes, nose, and mouth were traced or drawn, then cut and glued. Purple arms and legs were accordion folded (fold up...flip over...fold up...flip over) and then attached.

He's perfect for Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Funny Monsters!

Halloween is almost here, so at today's storytime, we read books about monsters - the funny kind! We read The Great Monster Hunt by Norbert Landa and laughed at the "monster" that was sleeping under Duck's bed. In Five Ugly Monsters by Tedd Arnold, monsters kept jumping on the bed and falling off. Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen tells how monsters go home and get ready for bed. And Go Away Green Monster! by Ed Emberley was pretty silly and didn't even scare us!

We also learned a song about a monster that goes like this:

If you ever see a monster,
A big ugly monster.
If you ever see a monster,
Here's what you do!
Make this face......
And this face.....
And this face.....
And this face.....
If you ever see a monster...
Be sure to shout...BOOOOO!!
(Sung to: "Did You Ever See A Lassie")

Then we made our own silly monsters. We colored on a flattened coffee filter with water-based markers, then sprayed a little water all over the coloring. The colors moved and mixed into each other and it sure made a funny face! Then we added eyes and mouth and other features. Some of us made five-eyed monsters! Don't they look funny?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


For our final StoryCrafter club session, we read a spooky, sad and silly book titled Bone Dog by Eric Rothman. Gus and his dog Ella are constant companions until Ella gets old and dies. When Gus runs into trouble on Halloween night, can you guess who comes to help him out?
 Silly skeletons danced throughout the pages of this book. So we made some of our own, using cotton swabs for bones! Even though the bones were not realistic, many children felt for their own bones as they checked to see where arm bones met shoulders and leg bones met hips. Some even cut the cotton swabs to make phalanges, or finger bones! Do you see them?


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pumpkins & Jack-o-Lanterns

Thanks to Melanie, the children's room here is spookily decorated for Halloween with ghosts, spiders, and pumpkins! In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, this Thursday's Story Time focused on pumpkins and how they become jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas led us off - a colorful story about Duck's attempts at making a jack-o-lantern. Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills is a short board book story about friends searching for a pumpkin. Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington shows, through the eyes of a child, the life cycle of a pumpkin from seed to sprout to blossom to fruit and back to seed. We also read Apples & Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell and Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino.

Children made a paper pumpkin from shades of orange and gold papers collaged onto a paper plate. A stem completed the pumpkin. The children transformed their pumpkins to jack-o-lanterns by adding eyes, nose, and a happy or sad mouth.

We sang Five Little Pumpkins as a fingerplay and had fun reciting this short poem.

Pumpkin, pumpkin
Round and fat (hold arms in front in a circle)
Turned into a jack-o-lantern (turn around)
Just like that! (clap-clap-clap!)
Finally, everyone visited the circulation desk to see Michelle, who had a new jack-o-lantern stamp for little hands today!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Pumpkin Blanket

In today's session, NHCS StoryCrafters heard the story of Clee, a baby who is gifted a mysterious blanket that she loves and relies upon for years and years. When a frost threatens her family's pumpkin patch, Clee must make a difficult decision about her beloved blanket - and she saves the day!
By the end of the story, Clee's pumpkins have become Halloween jack-o-lanterns on her family's porch, each with its own funny face. Using scraps from other projects and freeform cutting techniques, crafters followed simple directions to make their own funny pumpkin. All faces have the same elements, but look how different each jack-o-lantern is!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Here Come The Fire Engines!

At story hour this week, one child brought her toy fire engine and another wore his fire engine shirt! They knew what we'd be reading about! This week's focus was on firefighters and their vehicles. We read several of these books including Fire Truck by Peter Sis, the story of a boy who imagines he's a fire truck, and Firebears, The Rescue Team by Rhonda Gowler Greene, a rhyming book about a team of teddy bear fire fighters! We found similarities in all the books, like the firefighters' clothes, the fire pole, the CLANG, CLANG, CLANG of the fire alarm.

Our craft was a stand-up fire truck with a coiled up hose, a light on the top and a ladder with rungs - a new word for some of us! We tried them out on the rug, racing them around and sounding their sirens!

During the craft, there was some impromptu singing of "The Wheels on the Fire Truck". If you want to try this at home, it sounds something like this:

The Wheels on the Fire Truck  (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

The wheels on the firetruck go round and round
Round and round, Round and round
The wheels on the firetruck go round and round, all through the town

The engine on the truck goes vroom, vroom, vroom
Vroom, vroom, vroom...Vroom, vroom, vroom
The engine on the truck goes vroom, vroom, vroom, all through the town

The siren on the truck goes whoo, whoo, whoo
Whoo whoo, whoo, whoo
The siren on the truck goes whoo, whoo, whoo, all through the town

The seatbelts on the truck go click, click,
Click, click, click...Click, click, click
The seatbelts on the bus goes click, click, click, all through the town

The ladder on the truck goes up and down
Up and down...Up and down
The ladder on the truck goes up and down, all through the town

The hose on the truck goes spray, spray, spray
Spray, spray, spray...Spray, spray, spray
The hose on the truck goes spray, spray, spray, all through the town

The people on the truck go "We'll help out"
"We'll help out, We'll help out"
The people on the truck go "we'll help out", all through the town

When it was time to leave, everyone stopped at the circulation desk to see Michelle and get a hand stamp and an extra, wonderful surprise - a fire hat to take home! Many thanks to the New Hampton Fire Department for making so many little ones very happy and really excited to be a pretend firefighter!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkins Big, Pumpkins Small

This afternoon, the NHCS StoryCrafters heard the story Pumpkins by NH author Mary Lyn Ray. In the story, a man tries to raise money to buy a field by growing and selling pumpkins. Does he succeed? We had some questions about the man's methods but we were all satisfied with the story's ending.

In the man's pumpkin patch, there were pumpkins of every size. So, for our craft, we made pumpkins of every size. Each student chose a large or small circular object to trace and made six or eight circles of the same size. Folding each in half and strategically gluing these semicircles together produced pumpkin spheres. A crumpled strip of paper bag made the stem.


As we cleaned up, crafters discussed ways to do this activity at home using scrap paper and crayons, old newspapers, almost any kind of paper, with an everyday circular object to trace!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Leaves

Isn't our fall foliage amazing this year? This week's Children's Story Time focused on fall, particularly on trees and leaves. We made a connection to last week's mouse theme by listening to Mouse's First Fall by Lauren Thompson about a mouse and his friend who have fun playing in leaves. We then jumped right into Fresh Fall Leaves by Betsy Franco. After our craft, we read Leaves by David Ezra Stein about a bear who thinks leaves shouldn't be falling from the trees and even tries to reattach them! We also referenced Lois Ehlert's beautiful book, Leaf Man, identifying fall colors and looking for the features in many of the leaf creatures.

At craft time, children colored in the outline of a tree trunk, then dotted bare branches with drops of glue. They used precut tissue paper squares in fall colors as leaves by crumpling them and pushing them down onto the glue drops. Sticky work - but fun, and pretty!

Join us for Story Time next Thursday - 10:45-11:45 or 12:45-1:45! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Leaf Man

On a beautiful autumn afternoon, the NHCS StoryCrafters heard the story of Leaf Man, who "used to live in a pile of leaves...but yesterday blew away."  This book by Lois Ehlert features beautiful photos of people and critters made from leaves and other natural materials. After the story, children headed out to the playground with bags to gather materials to make their own leaf folks!

This group took no chances that the wind might blow their leaf men away! They voted to do their creating inside!